Nigeria News –
By Prof. Idemudia Oviosun
When INEC, Nigeria’s electoral body, revealed that it was releasing a brand-new policy framework to assist the conduct of elections in the country as it battles the coronavirus disease, it confessed that “conducting elections in a pandemic such as a coronavirus, is yet uncharted waters. Just extremely couple of jurisdictions have any experience with this.”
It was an honest admission that portrayed the enormity of the challenge that lay ahead. The body had couple of designs to work with, yet it can not delay the elections without stimulating a constitutional crisis that would threaten democracy and stimulate turmoil.
So, it started extensive assessments, established theoretical methods notified by recommendations– many untested and without precedent– while gradually counting down to the D-day in Edo State where a governorship election is initially on its calendar.
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It was going to charge into it with unique concepts, enthusiastic for the best.
Prior to the exercise, the celebration had argued, rather reasonably, that the mode of the main that allows for a decentralization of the choice procedure, constraint of movement throughout neighborhoods, and brought the polls to the tiniest unit of the society in spacious centers where few persons are managed room to maintain social distancing while voting was the very best method.
And the argument, unsurprisingly, ended up accurate. In all the wards in the state, individuals not more than 18, safeguarded with face masks and properly sterilized, stood at a safe range, utilizing their subscription card as the essential tool of voting their preferred candidate to represent the party at the polls.
It was swift, smooth, and reassuring. The breakdown, though requiring more workers that were sourced and sufficiently trained from the indigent neighborhoods, made sure that results were rapidly collected and moved to specified central points in a transparent process kept an eye on by observers and security agents who also kept distancing but had little worries due to the openness that, inherently, made any form of manipulation both difficult and easy to detect.
The striking success of the workout made, in hindsight, the argument against it for a more rowdy indirect procedure looks exceptionally foolish and without idea. Little surprise the argument was led by the incumbent Guv Godwin Obaseki, a man accused by numerous locals of the state of controling the COVID-19 scenario to his personal political benefit.
He likewise had a running fight with the members of the APC in the state– a situation that would have made a direct primary a sure defeat for him– prior to changing sides to the PDP, a celebration he openly knocked as deformed and led by dunces.
It is to the credit of the management of the APC that it persevered on its adoption of the direct mode. Thanks to its courage, INEC now has a working model, an important experience, and a test getaway that would make all the distinction when it gets ready for a bigger and more robust exercise in September.
Prof. Idemudia Oviosun (PhD)